From Rafaeil Alcide to Pablo Milanés

Dear Pablo you are in my heart even if I never see you:

They tell me (I do not read the press) that you made some statements days ago, where you admitted the need to straighten out some things in Cuban socialism, you ended up urging Fidel and Raul, almost forbidding them, they said, to commit the imprudence of dying without leaving a successor.

Caramba, Pablo, you don’t say, if in that respect these people have left us, not just one successor, they have left us a ton, six at least. Count them and write a song.

When Fidel and Raul die, then we have Machado Ventura, and when Machado Ventura dies the following week, we will have Ramiro, and when Ramiro dies the following week, we will have the Army Corps General and Hero of the Republic Julio Casas Regueiro, and when Casas Requeiro dies the following week, we will have Lazo, and when Lazo dies the following week, we will have the successors to the Honorable Lazo who, perpetuating the tradition established by the historic leadership, would have named a series of successors to the task following the number and formalities of the original scheme, and so, dear Pablo, while the Cuban Communist Party has elders, there will be no lack of successors in the Cuba of your dreams.

Or what is the basis of those statements you made without it seems, for us to decipher it, dear Pablo Milanés, that you are not satisfied with the successors in view today, those appointed by Fidel and Raul? If so, I will still not agree with you. But do not lose sleep, poet, put aside those little things, and continue to make songs that the world will remember, songs that honor your Bayamo, songs that bring with them all the honors which for once and for all accompanied Perucho Figueredo. The successor is not a package that is left at the doorstep, Pablo, the successor is someone who gives himself supremely to the people.

Bayamesamente,

Rafael Alcides

Translated by: Julio de la Yncera

Sportsmanship Spirit

FIGHT! FIGHT! It was the cry of those who passed on the run behind the girls of the water polo and softball teams. They were joined by the curious, as always. The action began in the lunch line at lunch, but the offense had been earlier. The ladies in charge of serving retreated to the kitchen when one of them tried to calm things down and was riposte to the contents of a bucket of offal. As in the hurricane’s eye passed which served to look for suitable implements to fight: Bats, balls, tubes of quickly dissembled berth as substitutes. There was no shortage of “cautious people” armed with machetes, knives and openers. The night was cold and people responsible for establishing order had not appeared. When they appeared (from twelve that they should be on guard, had only five), what had started as a simple fight was out of control, a real battle without limits, unleash violence, to the instincts. With the arrival of security forces the last bellicose people were reduced, as they say now as if respect for the genre depends on a letter. The tally of injured was not said, but there were enough, a curious eight years old girl was hit by accident, many bruises, some broken bones, some cuts.

This was last Thursday. The next day there were the presidents of the People Power in the City and others, and a long line of cars from the People’s Revolutionary Police (PNR) and Prevention and of course all managers of  INDER (Cuban Institute of Sports, etc.) linked to Martyrs of Barbados EIDE (Sports Schools), an insignia of Cuban sports There was a parents meeting on Saturday to explain the facts. The version that I am telling here I got from my son who is studying there. The official version minimizes the issue

The concerned parents wonder how they will manage to 1,300 children and adolescents who are healthy and competitive, fearsome qualities when they are joined by sexism and home teaching tips, for example: “If they push you, you grab a stick and hit them in the head.”

Soon they will start searches, and it is forbidden to bring food from home; this argument was supported by medical, and health reasons, my reading is that it will eliminate a cause for theft and the need for openers and knives. The guards will be reinforced with senior staff of INDER and they even collected signatures from parents willing to help with school discipline. I am very concerned for everything I’ve not written.

Translated by: Julio de la Yncera